Monday, August 29, 2011
Suze Orman is the Finance Coach featured on Oprah. She wears snazzy zebra print jackets and has a smile that could dazzle anyone. She also speaks a lot of sense.
In her recent article, "The Smart Woman's Guide to Asking for a Raise", Suze says the following:
"Women have a very bad habit of putting themselves on sale. But tough economic times mean there is little chance your employer will offer a sizable raise — no matter how terrific you are— unless you force the issue a bit. A negotiating tip:
Stand Tall in Your TruthBe confident when you make your case for a raise. If you're tentative and apologetic, you're signaling ambivalence about your own worth."
I like this a lot.
It speaks to me because I firmly believe your mindset has a profound impact on your results. It's vital that you believe in your own value and worth before approaching the question of a salary increase.
If you don't value your own self-worth, how can you expect anyone else to?
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
We all suffer from limiting self-talk from time to time.
The difference between people who are successful, and those who are not, is that successful people acknowledge their 'inner gremlins' almost immediately and shout them down before they've had the chance to flex their muscles and gain any momentum.
This month's self-sabotaging self-talk is:
"What if I get that promotion and then make a mess of it?"
Isn't that funny? You proactively bust your guts to make a solid impression on the decision makers around you, are rewarded with a promotion and then immediately doubt whether you're up to the task.
Fear is a projection that you make into the future. It isn't real. It exists only in your mind. And you, like many of us, are very capable of conjuring up a multitude of possible outcomes, that may or may not ever eventuate in the future.
So for starters, stop making assumptions about the unhelpful things that might happen!
Any new opportunity poses new challenges. There are unknowns. There are questions. There is a lack of total certainty. And that's okay; you're pushing your boundaries and seeing what you're capable of. It's exciting!
Look at a new situation, like a promotion, as an opportunity for growth and learning. Expecting yourself to get everything right all of the time only sets yourself up for trouble.
See it as a step-by-step journey. You can methodically plan your steps to ensure you make all that you want happen in your new role. The key is not to overwhelm yourself - or to second-guess what the people around you are thinking of you as you commit to the journey.
Look for support. Ask for help. Seek a mentor. And if you also believe in your own experience and ability, you'll soar. Enjoy the journey!
We've all met them: energy-sucking vampires.
These people are 'natural doubters'. They are negative, in both their thinking and behaviours. They avoid challenge. They question and criticise. They look for reasons why things can not be done. And they sleep in crypts. Well, maybe not that last one...
If you have anyone like this around you, whether at home, work or socially, my suggestion is to pat yourself on the back for not allowing them to do any more damage and then make your exit.
The problem with energy-sucking vampires is they are totally self-absorbed. They don't have your best interests at heart; all they want is to put you off going for anything even half-enjoyable or fulfilling, whether personally or professionally.
They'll dissuade you from asking for a promotion or pay rise. They'll profess that everything is a 'risk'. They'll even tell you that you aren't good enough to pursue a particular goal.
Whether you know it or not, the people you choose to hang around have a profound impact on you: on how you think about yourself and your abilities; on how you conduct yourself; on the decisions you make; and your results... need I go on?
There is simply no room for people in your life who are not wholly supportive of you and your journey.
Here are some tips to take action today:
1. Review your friends and business colleagues. Are they vampires or supportive people who actively encourage you?
2. Make some decisions. Who do you want to spend time with? If you feel certain people bring you down, ask if that's acceptable to you any more. If it's not, take action. It might be a conversation you've been meaning to have for a while...
3. Actively surround yourself with only the most supportive of people. It will have a profound, positive impact on how you feel about yourself and the outcomes you get in your life and career.
Here's a mini-questionnaire for you:
A) Do you find it difficult to make decisions without first consulting others for their opinions?
B) Do you 'just know' when you are making the right decision?
A) Do you find that you are easily swayed by other people and readily change your mind when they disagree with you?
B) Do you accept that other people have different opinions to you and know that you don't need to agree with their views?
If you answered A) to both questions this implies that you have an 'external' perspective, meaning that you rely on external feedback before feeling comfortable reaching a decision.
If you answered B) to both questions you are more 'internal' i.e. you look inside to find your solutions and answers.
Both perspectives have benefits and costs.
In terms of the latter, overly 'internal' people can be regarded as arrogant, with no desire to listen to any alternative viewpoints whilst extreme 'external' people can take forever to get anything done and drive everyone nuts in the process!
When building a strong personal brand in the workplace it is vital that you work on your ability to 'look inside' to find the answers to your challenges. Know why you have chosen a particular option without feeling the need to justify it. Listen to other people if you wish to - it doesn't mean they are right and you are wrong. You could both be right.
Appearing decisive and holding firm are both very important as you grow as a leader. And who knows - perhaps you'll sway others along the way!
I am now 26 weeks pregnant. And it's a very funny thing.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about it - those who are mothers; those who never want to be mothers; and those who, for anatomical reasons, will never be mothers. :)
What I find most interesting is how so many of the people I come across - both personally and professionally - want to share their own fears of pregnancy and childbirth; or recount their wives' horrific 20-hour labour stories; or even laugh as they relay a particularly gruesome episode of ER with me...
What really throws them, is when I talk about the preparation I am making for a natural, drug-free, Hypnobirthing birth. If you don't know what Hypnobirthing is all about, essentially it is a calm method of birthing using specific breathing and visualisation techniques to enable your body to do what it was built to do naturally.
People scoff. People's eyes widen with fear. What? You're just going to breathe the baby out?! No pain relief? No going purple from pushing for half a day?
What this truly exciting period in my life is teaching me (amongst a whole lot of other things) is the importance of standing up for what you believe in and not allowing other peoples' fears to sway my decisions or to put doubt in my mind.
Building a strong personal brand is really no different: it's all about being true to yourself and standing up for your own convictions.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Have you been repeating the same year at work over the last 2-3 years or has every year during that period brought you new opportunities, learnings and growth?
Too many people get stuck in a rut professionally, doing jobs or tasks they could perform in their sleep. Where's the fun in that?
In my view, a much better use of your time is to use every month and every year as opportunities to grow; to challenge yourself; to seek new experiences; build new networks; and take on different responsibilities.
With every new opportunity, your self-esteem and confidence both enjoy a huge boost and you enhance your employability ten fold.
Do any of the comments below resonate with your current way of thinking?
"I don't enjoy my career."
"I don't know what I want from my career; but I do know it's not this."
"I am due a promotion; it's sure to be offered to me this year."
"No-one seems to know I exist at work."
One thing in life is certain. Time passes by every, well... minute.
Are you spending your minutes as you wish to? Are you enjoying a fulfilling career that meets both your short and long term objectives?
If not, then it's time to get serious about how you want your career to be. Waiting around for someone else to take charge (or for divine intervention) won't get you any closer to leading a career that fulfills you.
So here are some quick tips to get the ball rolling:
1. A Career Plan can be as simple as a list of goals that you wish to attain in the next 6-12 months (or further if you are able to plan further ahead).
2. It should include all that you want to achieve during that time such as: projects you want to work on; skills you want to learn or refresh; training you want to undertake; people you want to build relationships with; financial or status goals you want to attain.
3. For each item you list, write a series of objectives to give some detail as to what each goal requires and establish some key dates whereby these objectives must be met.